MTV has removed the word “guido” from Jersey Shore‘s controversial promos, and MTV programming president Tony DiSanto says that had no idea the word or the show would offend people.
“To be 100% honest, no, even as an Italian American. I just wanted to be cautious about toning down the partying. It never crossed my mind this would be offensive. I don’t look at these characters as representing an entire ethnic group. They refer to themselves as “guidos” sometimes, but it’s more about the way they act, their behavior, what they’re attracted to, their rituals. It’s not about an entire ethnicity,” he told the Hollywood Reporter.
In the interview, he uses the term “POV” a lot, and says that while “It bums me out that some people are offended. … If a particular person is offended, that’s fine, watch something else, because MTV has a huge palate [sic] of other things to watch.” He’s not concerned that advertisers have pulled out: “just like ‘Jersey Shore’ may not be for every single viewer, it might not be for every advertiser, and we understand that. It’s never a one-size-fits-all scenario.”
DiSanto also said, “The intention behind the show was to present an exciting group of big characters who were an interesting dynamic, having the summer of their lives, having very specific sort of rituals and vernacular. I thought it would play like a fun show with heart that also makes you laugh. I look at my job as having to deliver shows that hit at least one or two of the following categories — entertain, engage and enlighten. And this nails the entertainment category.”